OFF TOPIC – My September 11, 2001 experience
9/11/2008 – Today just seems like the right time. Seven years have passed, and I’ve been thinking about it, so I’m going to post what I wrote on that day. This is unedited, word-for-word, what I jotted in my diary of sorts on September 11, 2001. As you may be able to tell from the photo above, could see the World Trade Center that morning from my rooftop in Brooklyn. (Sorry for the crappy digital photo of a disposable camera photo). We’ll get back to baseball next post. RIP to Mr. Bertram Brown, an important Jamaican music producer from the island’s halcyon Roots Reggae period of the late 1970’s. I met him for the first time shortly after 9/11/01, and he passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.
11 September 2001, 10:30 a.m. My God. I’m being bathed in the destruction of both World Trade Center towers being blown across from Manhattan –fully obscured by smoke. A peculiar smell, somewhat like caps, hangs in the air. This started around 9 a.m. when I heard the television booming from our living room –strange at this hour. Then my sister Sue called to make sure I was OK just as I was making out the initial reports.
A plane -make it 2- had rammed into the WTC towers. On the roof with Justin, the phone man and a host of day labourers…sharing binoculars, snapping film…Babylon is falling. In my old home, another plane slammed into the Pentagon.
Talk of vengeance in the air. For what? A wicked, wicked scene. I’m not even on the front line. People run along the street, cars through red lights…sirens seemingly a permanent sound around here.
When I first stepped out here, a charred piece of paper floated into my hand. So many more have passed over. What an awful thing.
11 September 2001, 2:29 p.m. With both WTC towers completely leveled, the remainder of the Manhattan skyline begins to re-emerge from the still billowing mighty cloud of smoke traveling almost directly above my head. Television says gas lines still burn under there beneath the rubble, no doubt saturated by the tanks of 2 airplanes destined for the West Coast. The debris no longer rains from the sky. I’m not lonely in my room today. Justin to my right, and a bevy of neighbors out here doing much the same thing. Just gazing at the is, was…pondering the ever shall be.
Death tolls listed at somewhere between 164 & counting and fifty-grand. We had our door & windows closed when the words anthrax and asbestos started getting mentioned on air –the 2 channels remaining, that is. The rest destroyed, at least for now, in the wake of this explosive day. Men in offices already debating who to strike back & how severely. And I wonder if I should still shop at the Hamza, knowing full well the bakery lady’s exasperated tears to hear of celebrations going on in Pakistan.
So you want to be mayor, Mr. Mark Green? You’ll have to wait until another day to see & Roger Clemens won’t be improving to 20-1 tonight. Nor will Barry Bonds be hitting number 64. Luigi’s Pizza never opened their doors, and I’m waiting for the battleships to enter NY harbor.
11 September 2001, 7:15 p.m. Not a flight in the sky…eerie. The sun has just set and now it’s 3 smouldering buildings contributing to this omnipresent grey cloud, once reeking of death, now mostly dispersed by evening winds. I wish it would bring rain. NYPD helicopter passes overhead…
11 September 2001, 10:10 p.m. That smell. That god-awful smell. Carried by wind to that horrific, sensitive human memory. The days’ events piled high like a Dagwood Bumstead sandwich, or one of my own laundry baskets. Who? How many? What does it all mean?
Ain’t gonna be answered this eve’, but the sense is this may be the worst day in U.S. history. God, I hope not. With all the wretched tales of our roots -but as single days go- certainly rather catastrophic. Mass murder on your TV, computer & radio. Big & bad in NYC. Wickedness. Can it really be over? Fear not. No vibe to break the circle chain –this blood has only begun to run. Perilous times, I-testament. Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth & The Life. Yes I!